Use Cases, Prototyping Tools and Test Collections Task Force Wiki

This is the Main Wiki page for the Use Cases, Prototyping Tools and Test Collections Task Force

Task Force Co-Leads: 
Anita de Waard
Antica Culina
Fotis Psomopoulos
Jens Klump
Mingfang Wu

Adam Shepherd
Beth Huffer
Craig Willis
Jeffrey Grethe
Jun-ichi Onami
Kathleen Fontaine
Robert Downs
Ronald Margolis
Vanessa Raymond
Ville Tenhunen



The goal of this Task Force is to identify the key requirements evident across data discovery use-cases from various scientific fields and domains. This information can be used by relevant stakeholders (including among others, the other Task Forces within the Interest Group as well as other Groups within RDA) in order to improve the provided data discovery services as well as understand the continuously evolving methods of data discovery employed by the end-users.

In order to achieve this goal, the following objectives have been identified:

  1. Identify the questions / aspects necessary to capture use-cases / user scenarios
  2. Perform a survey aiming for a wide audience, across disciplines / domains.
  3. Organize the information gathered in order to identify common aspects / categories / clusters
  4. Extract user-profiles, and therefore user requirements, from the use-cases.

Objectives #2, #3 and #4 are continuous, in the sense that use-cases can be added at any given point, in order to produce additional requirements.


The first months of the Task Force were dedicated to identifying the best structure of the survey as well as the fields that should be capture in order to have a complete and useful picture of the user requirements. Progress in developing a robust scheme was facilitated by adopting the structure of some of the existing activities, as well as some of the relevant use cases included. These activities are listed below:

The structure was consequently populated with >60 use cases, each of which contained information on the following fields:

  • As a” (i.e. role)
  • Theme” (i.e. scientific domain/discipline)
  • I want” (i.e. requirement, missing feature, supported function)
  • So that” (i.e. the user need that is addressed)
  • Comments

The next step was to introduce a multi-level categorization system that allowed for a first high-level analysis of the user-interviews. The top level comprised of three major groups; Metadata, Portal Functionality and Data, whereas each of the groups can be further refined into several sub-categories (a complete listing is available on the Use Cases Google Spreadsheet).

One of the first observations is that there is a specific bias towards the “Researcher” role (which includes Academics, Researchers and PhD/Master students). In order to address this issue and alleviate this bias, the Task Force will aim to contact targeted groups including Funders and Librarians. Finally, the Task Force succeeded in producing a first set of requirements, based on a more contextual grouping of the use-cases.



  1. List of captured use-cases: Google Spreadsheet
  2. Link to Minutes Document


Next Steps

The work done within the Task Force has mostly addressed the goals identified during the kick-off. However, the issue of exploring prototyping tools for data discovery is still outstanding, as well as the aspect of investigating additional user roles within the context of the involved use-cases.



The Task Force has been coordinated through regular teleconferences (initially monthly and then every two weeks). The full list of the meetings is shown below:

  1. Task Force Kickoff Meeting, November 30, 2016
  2. 1st Teleconference, December 20th, 2016
  3. 2nd Teleconference, January 24th, 2017
  4. 3rd Teleconference, February 7th, 2017
  5. 4th Teleconference, February 21st, 2017
  6. 5th Teleconference, March 7th, 2017
  7. 6th Teleconference, March 21st, 2017 (planned)
  8. IG Session at P9, April 5th, 2017 (planned)

The minutes of each call are available through the Task Force RDA page.